Planning a Thanksgiving meal while managing and preventing diabetes

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:53 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Thanksgiving dishes can be friendly for those managing and preventing diabetes this year with intentional cooking, according to Sentara RMH’s diabetes program. Some recipes may substitute sugar but those recipes often contain sugar alcohols which a diabetes specialist is not good for anyone.

“They don’t necessarily take away that craving that we often have for sugars and so can be detrimental and kind of increasing our hunger as well as our foraging for trying to find a way to satisfy our bodies,” Certified Diabetes Education Specialist Laura Williamson said

Laura Williamson MS, BSN, RN, CDCES, said staying with more whole foods that are nutrient-dense and less processed foods is the way to go.

Williamson is a diabetes specialist at Sentara RMH who said the holidays can present big challenges for people managing or trying to prevent diabetes.

Her advice for people wanting to keep their blood sugar from getting high is to go to the Thanksgiving table with a plan.

“Consider not only what they’re eating but how much they’re eating so if it is a favorite recipe from a family member or friend to really consider the portion size as well as not forget the importance of activity,” Williamson said.

A person’s a1c, to test for type 2 diabetes, is based on the average of sugar in their blood, which health professionals say can spike up during the holidays if people are not mindful of their food intake.

Williamson said a ten-minute walk after a meal can help with blood sugar management.